WW2 Airborne M41 Jacket with 513th PIR Pocket Patch

M41 Jacket with 513th PIR Pocket Patch

Here we have a nearly mint, World War Two M41 field jacket.  These were worn by the US Army in the ETO all through the war.  This particular jacket belonged to a paratrooper of the 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment who had a 513th PIR pocket patch sewn on to his jacket.  The 513th was at that time part of the 13 Airborne Division. It was later transferred to the 17th Airborne Division, where it became famous for its participation in the Battle of the Bulge and also Varsity, where it made a combat jump.

This particular paratrooper was later transferred to the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment during the war.  This probably explains why this jacket is in such pristine condition and why it still has the 13th Airborne Division patch on it.  I suspect that after his transfer, he never wore this jacket again.

The 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment pocket patch is one of my favorite Airborne patches of WWII.  I just love the graphics on them.

Paratrooper Balloon Suit Uniform, Rare Early WW2 Airborne Jump Training Uniform

Pictured is an early US paratrooper uniform item.  It is commonly referred to as a balloon suit, balloon jump suit or balloon cloth jump suit.  This was one of the earliest uniform items specifically designed for US paratroopers.  It was designed to be worn by paratroopers as an outer garment when making their parachute jumps.   It was only experimented with for a brief time.  Most photos show it being used in training in 1941.  By 1942, it had been supplanted by other uniforms like the M42 jump suit.  Although it was only used briefly, photos taken at the time show that many of the paratroopers who would later go on to have prominent positions in the 101st Airborne Division, 82nd Airborne Division, 11th Airborne Division, 17th Airborne Division, and 13th Airborne Division during World War Two, got their jump training wearing this uniform.

Since it was only used for a short period of time, and also because during this time the size of the US Airborne forces were very small, very few have survived.   They are considered very rare and only a handful still exist in collections today.  I was very pleased to add this rare uniform to my military collection.

WWII 502nd PIR 508th PIR 101st Airborne Division Uniform Grouping

This group belonged to a paratrooper who was a member of I Company, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division during WWII.  After the war ended, he was transferred to the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division for occupation of Germany duty.  This was a common practice among the US Airborne units during WWII.  Airborne personal were often transferred to different regiments and divisions, starting with the end of the war in Europe, dependent on how long they had been in the service, how many points they had accumulated, and the needs of the various units.

This group includes his Ike jacket which has the insignia common to the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the occupation period.  The black and white oval indicates the 508th PIR.  The ribbon bar is German made and I have seen this exact style of ribbon bar on other Ike jackets from the 508th PIR in the occupation period.  The jump wings are sterling and pin back.  On the left sleeve is an 82nd Airborne Division patch and on the right sleeve is a 101st Airborne Division patch and the Belgian Fourragere.  The 101st patch on the right sleeve indicates that this was a former unit that he had served in combat with.

This group had a box full of stuff (pictured) from his service in World War Two.  It contained the white silk scarf and white gloves which were used by the 508th PIR for for formal functions.  There are several paper items including passes, a ration card, a Berchtesgaden tourist brochure, a folder with commerical photos of paratroops in action, and other miscellaneous paperwork.  There are a stack of photos of him and his paratrooper friends in uniform on holiday including a bunch of shots of them skiing at a ski resort.  Also included was a piece of camouflage parachute material that he had cut from a chute and his American flag armband.  The flag armband is my favorite piece because he put a roster the names of his fellow members of Third Platoon, I Company, 502nd PIR on the back along with the phrase “Ready to Jump”.  Please note that we have intentionally blurred the name of this Veteran on the two passes, ration card, and the flag armband, for privacy.